Advancing the Next Generation of Higher Education Scholars: An Examination of One Doctoral Classroom

Caroline Turner
California State University, Sacramento

J. Luke Wood
San Diego State University

Yvonne Montoya
Arizona State University

Idara Essien Wood
Ashford University

Rebecca Neal
Arizona State University

Gabriel Escontrias Jr.
Arizona State University

Aaron Coe
University of Phoenix

Course content in graduate school is especially important in terms of helping students make progress toward a doctorate. However, content is merely one aspect of developing successful students. This article highlights the value of creating an affirming learning environment by discussing one graduate class on Qualitative Policy Research. The majority of student participants were graduate students of color. The authors discuss the pedagogical approaches guiding this course and outline ways in which the instructor served to create safe spaces that invited as well as validated diverse perspectives and made the research process transparent. These efforts resulted in the production of high quality research used as pilot studies for successful dissertation defenses, accepted presentations at scholarly conferences, and published articles in peer-reviewed journals. Throughout this article, suggestions for replicating a similar course environment are discussed.

Copyright © 2019, International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education